Hot fudge was such a huge staple in my childhood pantry, and it didn’t really have anything to do with ice cream. Well, OK — it had a little bit to do with ice cream. But it had a lot to do with the fact that both my brothers and I had a serious obsession with dipping a spoon into the cold “hot” fudge in the fridge and eating it as a snack. Or should I say, sneaking it as a snack. It’s not like my mom really condoned our doing that all that time.
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Whether you’re planning a romantic evening or you’ll celebrate Gal-entine’s Day (or, hey, even Guy-entine’s Day) this Feb. 14, you’ve likely got dessert on the brain. Valentine’s Day is a close second to Halloween as the patron holiday of candy, after all, and boxes of surprise-inside chocolates are everywhere by now. But if you’re not a fan of chocolate, don’t dismay. These red and pink desserts are just as appropriate (and delicious).
Heart-Shaped Cereal Treats (above)
Even if you and your significant other weren’t high-school sweethearts, re-create the joy of those simpler times with a pink spin on the dessert you might have shared at the cafeteria table.
Once a month Bev Weidner, of Bev Cooks fame and the mom of adorable twin littles, stops by to share an easy, one-two approach to dinner to keep everyone happy: Start by making one classic recipe for the kids in the house, then dress up that same dish with bold flavors for the adults.
Valentine’s Day at home can be romantic for you and your special someone, even when the kids are there too. If you’re staying inside the cozy confines of your abode this Valentine’s Day, I’ve got a crazy-simple meal that will satisfy errrrbody. Even those under the age of 5 will approve.
1. It involves pasta. Hello, isn’t “pasta” the synonym of “Valentine’s Day”? I think it is.
Chocolate gets all the love on Valentine’s Day, but it’s even better as part of a couple — when it’s the right match. Here are our top picks for chocolate’s most-compatible food partners. (If we were you, chocolate, we’d swipe right for all of them.)
Chocolate + Peanut Butter
These two rich and creamy delicacies were truly meant for each other. When enrobed in milk chocolate, Food Network Kitchen’s peanut butter cookie dough (eggless and safe to eat raw!) takes on a whole new dimension. Ina Garten’s chocolate cupcakes are a perfect vehicle for fluffy peanut butter frosting, and Ree Drummond’s Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie (pictured above) with a crunchy Oreo crust makes the case that these two should never, ever break up. Read more
Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday — no matter what you call it, today’s all about uninhibited celebration full of indulgent eats. If you can’t make it to New Orleans to take part in the annual parades, bring a taste of the experience into your kitchen wherever you are with dishes incorporating the official Mardi Gras colors: purple, gold and green. For dessert, there’s always Louisiana-style king cake — a ring-shaped confection decorated with colored sugar that’s popular with the locals. This Shortcut King Cake made with store-bought crescent roll dough is good in a pinch! If you’re planning a more elaborate feast, try working the Mardi Gras rainbow into your main course or your sides. Trust us — it’s not as hard as it sounds!
As with soup and tacos, there aren’t exactly rules when it comes to creating a rice bowl, just a set of loose guidelines that you can follow to craft your ultimate finished product. Rice will provide a blank-canvas base, much like broth in a soup and a shell in tacos; then it’s up to you to pick the veggie add-ins and a protein. The options are seemingly endless — not to mention convenient. If you find yourself with a refrigerator full of strays, like that half-full container of prepared rice, those two random carrots and a handful of black beans, you’re well on your way to a complete dinner. Food Network Magazine utilized a similar approach in its recipe for Rice Bowls with Fried Eggs, which is easy enough that you can execute it on even the busiest of weeknights in just 30 quick minutes.
Featuring a hearty base of ready-to-go brown rice, these fuss-free bowls are topped with earthy shiitake mushrooms and tender broccoli, as well as bright snow peas. Sauteing the veggies in a mixture of tangy teriyaki sauce and a squeeze of Sriracha ensures that there will be plenty of flavor and a bit of subtle spice throughout. To bring even more heft to the bowl, finish the dish with a sunny-side-up egg for a boost of protein, and drizzle with more Sriracha for added heat.
The hearts, the roses, the chocolate candy … It’s tough to escape the culture of Valentine’s Day once February 1 rolls around. If, for whatever reason, you’re not embracing all things red and pink these days — and instead running away from them — this Valentine’s Day dinner is for you.
It takes just 15 minutes and five everyday ingredients to make Geoffrey Zakarian’s Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, aka spaghetti with garlic and olive oil. This fan-favorite recipe gets a boost of welcome heat from a generous pinch of red pepper flakes, while the sauce comes together in a quick saute; just use a few splashes of pasta water to create a silky sauce out of the garlic slices and oil. Go ahead and slurp up each and every noodle and revel in that garlicky flavor.
Move over, chicken breasts; when it comes to saving money and adding flavor, it’s all about the thighs. I love cooking with chicken thighs for their dark-meat qualities — they’re juicy and bursting with flavor, just like these reader-favorite recipes.
Rigatoni with Chicken Thighs (pictured above)
Chicken thighs sizzling in a pan, along with onions and garlic, create a classic base for The Pioneer Woman’s simple homemade pasta sauce, ready in 35 minutes.
If you love to play with your food, football season is your time to shine as a party-thrower. Building a giant snack stadium isn’t just for serving all your favorite celebratory bites at once – it’s about creating a work of art (by our standards, anyway). And the highlight of your sporty masterpiece? The dips, of course. Try these irresistible options to fill all the holes in your game-day spread this year.
Chili Con Queso (above)
Ree Drummond’s take on this comforting classic starts with breakfast sausage and onion. Browning both before you mix everything with cheese and chiles is an easy extra step that makes the dip even more savory.